Twenty-Four Hours in Bangkok, Thailand
When venturing to Thailand, or indeed any part of Asia, it’s possible you’ll experience at least one night in Bangkok, and given the Thai people’s enthusiasm and welcome toward tourists, it’s a great gateway to ease in your Asian adventure. Strikingly different from the West, whilst accommodating enough, the Thai capital city offers variety to suit any traveler’s palate, whether you want to begin with a bang, explore the culture, or wind down before jetting home.
Begin your day welcoming the sunrise with a magnificent view at Wat Arun, the “Temple of Dawn.” Remember to dress appropriately for this Buddhist monument and perhaps climb its steps to the top to take in the scenery of your day’s activities. Working up an appetite is no issue; Thai breakfast food is various and plentiful, so refuel at one of the many cafés or street food vendors. It’s an experience.
If bustle is your thing, stop by the backpacker haven of Khao San Road. Its hype has increased over recent years along with its development, so expect a street full of boisterous students, mass roadside massages, never-ending happy hours, fish pedicures, and bargain tailors all a stone’s throw from another temple of the Golden Buddha. Competing travel agents are aplenty here, though, so it’s a great place to book a reasonable tour or travel down to the idyllic islands, up to Chiang Mai, or on a one-day local tour taking in traditional floating markets, elephant rides, the historical bridge over the River Kwai, and the Tiger Temple, a conservation park where you can get up close and personally photographed with the big cats. Expat handlers assured us that wellbeing of the animals was a No. 1 priority.
Keeping in the city limits, Bangkok offers much unique urban fun; one such attraction was called Escape Hunt, an interactive detective challenge where you play in teams to solve a mystery. I could tell you more, but I’d have to kill you. The charming themed hostesses helped along this No. 1 rated activity on TripAdvisor.
Bangkok likes to do things big and best, so if shopping is on the agenda, you’ll be impressed with the huge and elegant Siam Paragon center where you can seemingly buy anything, even supercars. The upper floors are also home to the Major Cineplex, often touted as the world’s best movie theater. From outstanding quality screens, sounds, and comfort—some options are love seats, recliners, drink service, blankets, and even tales of massages—to a 4DX experience that immerses top movies with personal speakers, smells, and chair movement to increase the thrill, it’s well worth a visit. Just remember to stand for the national anthem before the film!
For a more romantic shopping experience, especially for good souvenirs, take a free boat cruise from Taksin Bridge to Asiatique the Riverfront, where native boutiques intersperse with picturesque casual and elegant dining, whilst dating locals peer down from their Ferris wheel view.
If your taste buds are ready and your tongue firmly in cheek, head over to the bizarre but fun Cabbages & Condoms restaurant, named so in promotion of family planning and support of associated charities from the checks. The food is varied and delicious; the décor is charming and magical, and peppered with various condom sculptures. Definitely unique!
Or if sitting on small stools sampling street food is your desire, hop over to Sukhumvit Soi 38 where a hamlet of stalls and open air spots compete for your palate. The night still being young, you can shimmy over to Soi 11 where the bars and clubs with the expat vibe reside. You can also head to Soi Cowboy, where the hottest girl in the joint is a guy, or to one of the many karaoke spots across the city.
Your jam-packed day will finally need some rest, so check in to the discreet and intimate luxury of the Cabochon Hotel, decorated with the Shanghai chic of the 1920s. Unwind in the library or by the rooftop pool, or lap up the personal service whilst writing your memoirs in your tastefully designed suite. Or perhaps treat yourself to the Executive Floor of the Amari Watergate, a large and central hotel that still retains a boutique level of service, charm, and personality, with excellently appointed rooms, fresh flower welcome, pools and spas, and an internationally flavored buffet and complimentary happy hour accompanied by stunning skyline views that may just want to make you stay more than the famed one night.